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Buddha’s Birthday ceremony at Hoang Phap Pagoda

Update: 14/05/2014
The jubilant atmosphere of Buddha’s Birthday is taking place all around the country, from urban to countryside areas, from plain to mountainous areas, and even on remote islands. In such a feeling of enthusiasm, in the morning of May 13, 2014 (the 15th of May, lunar calendar), thousands of Buddhists gathered at Hoang Phap Pagoda so as to attend the Vesak of 2558th Buddhist Calendar or 2014 th AD.
 

Buddha’s Birthday ceremony at Hoang Phap Pagoda

 
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“We are so pleased to welcome the Buddha’sbirthday,

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We are also pleased to the propagation of the True Dharma”

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 At 9:00 sharp A.M., two lines of Buddhists\r\nrespectfully clasped their hands to welcome Buddhist leaders who came to the\r\nmain altar to offer incense to Buddhas. Following such a solemn moment,\r\nhundreds of balloons were released to the air with good wishes from all the\r\nmonks and Buddhists longing for a peaceful world and that all living beings may\r\nlive in peace and contentment within the chief support from the Buddhas.

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 The presence of the World Honored One in this worldly\r\nworld has a very lofty meaning. Therefore, in this respectful and tranquil\r\nmoment, this whole Bodhi-mandala will together accumulate their heart to pay\r\nhomage in memory of the extraordinary birth of the Buddha. Next, the members of\r\nthe Hoang Phap Pagoda Family respectfully offered the freshest flowers to the\r\nBuddhas and the Monks of Hoang Phap Pagoda.

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 Junior Ven. Thich Tam Trung, Deputy Head of Hoang Phap\r\nPagoda, on behalf of the pagoda read the inauguration speech on Vesak.\r\nFollowing was the real meanings of this holiday, read by Jr Ven. Thich Tam Huy.

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At the end of the ceremony were the teaching recommendations\r\nof Senior Ven. Thich Chan Tinh, Head of Hoang Phap Pagoda. He expressed the\r\nhappiness when Vietnam itself was able to organize Vesak in this year. This was\r\nnot only the pride of Vietnamese Buddhists but also that of the whole nation of\r\nVietnam. Vesak has been an occasion for everybody to revise the Buddha’s life.\r\nHE was a person normally born like any human being. But HE has been honored as\r\na Buddha for the fact that HE had a process of self-improvement with much\r\neffort transforming all inconveniences into none, rejecting such inconvenient\r\nthings as greediness, anger, craziness and inconveniences. There is already\r\nBudhha’s character in each of human being  -  it just needs some\r\nchanges and some eradications in his/her consciousness, then the existing\r\nBuddha’s character will some day appear.

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 Next, the Senior Ven. told the story in the 82nd Sutra\r\nnamed Majihima Nikaya (Madhyamagama 132). It is about the Rastrapala’s leaving\r\nhis home to become a monk and this man’s talk with King Kulapa. Those who came\r\nto the Buddha, especially those who left their home to become Buddhist monks\r\nand nuns, could be misunderstood as among those who were tired of the world and\r\ndid not have any aim to live on like the four circumstances the king mentioned\r\n-  illness and deformity, ageing and falling into ruin,  bankruptcy,\r\nand broken-up families. Venerable Rastrapala brought forward the reasons for\r\nhis leaving household, which was seeing, listening, understanding and knowing\r\nthe four world forms that Tathagata taught us. First, worldly world is\r\nimpermanent; it accordingly will eventually come to destruction. Second,\r\nWorldly world has no possessor, it does, accordingly, not belong to anyone.\r\nThird, worldly world does not remain with anyone; it means that any living\r\nbeing cannot take anything with him/her when leaving this worldly world.\r\nFourth, worldly world is needy, starving for slavery, greediness, and desire.\r\nMastering those four shortcomings of the worldly world, the venerable did leave\r\nhis home to become a monk. The king, after hearing those inconveniences, was\r\nvery glad and recognized that they were not as he had understood before.

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 At the end of the ceremony, the monks of all levels\r\nand the entire way place together directed themselves to the Trinity to\r\ncelebrate the traditional ceremony of Vesak.

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 In the programme of Vesak this year, there were also\r\nthe participation of various singers and songs  -  all aiming at\r\noffering the Buddha, such as singer Duong Quoc Hung with the song named ‘My\r\ngreat respect to Amitabha Buddha’, and the song named ‘Let me express my\r\nrepentance’ sung by singer Ho Quang Hieu. And, especially, the programmer also\r\nincluded the six singing voice of the six well-known singers, such as Trong\r\nKhuong, Thu Trang, Luong Viet Quang, Duyen Quynh, Ngoc Quy, and Ngoc Mai in the\r\nsong glorifying the Buddha’s BirthDay, which was a poem composed by Senior Ven.\r\nThich Chan Tính  on the occasion of this year Vesak.

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 The ceremony ended at 11:30 A.M. in the full\r\njoyfulness of the participants.

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 Attached are some of the recorded photographs

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Translated into English by layman Hoang Huan

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